October 15, 2004

Staging Eumenides or How to Utterly Brutalise Classic Theatre

i.The 4th century B.C.E. Phlyakes vases from the south of Italy show temporary wooden stages which we believe are similar or identical to those that would have been used for comic performance in the 5th century B.C.E. How adequate or appropriate would such a stage have been for the performance of tragedy in the 5th century B.C.E., in particular the Eumenides?

It wouldn't quite encapsulate the epic feel of the play, and wouldn't give the actors much space to move around, ie. the furies chasing Orestes might have been a problem. That said Greek acting was very much about the voice and the storytelling, not the action so any place with a stage could be adequate, though a grander theatre would be more appropriate.

ii. Where could Klytemnestra, Apollo and Orestes have performed in the opening scene of the play?

Not quite sure what these questions are looking for, but I'd have had the first scene performed with Klytemnestra and Apollo at the front of the stage, then have Orestes enter from behind the audience, through the aisle, as if pursued by the furies.

iii. Where could the chorus have performed?

Perhaps run in after Orestes, then perform on the ground in front of the stage, only going up to the stage when needed as part of the trial.


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